Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Best Genealogy Vacation

So while most of us are responsibly staying at home and not going anywhere, for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Randy Seaver has us remembering about when we were traveling!  What a cruel, cruel man . . . .

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along; cue the Mission:  Impossible! music!):

(1) Think about your genealogy career — have you taken a genealogy or family history "vacation?"

(2) Tell us about one (or more) of them:  Where did you go, what research did you do, did you meet family members, etc.?

(3) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post.  Please leave a link in a comment to this post.

I took an unusual family history "vacation" in 2005.  I had been offered a trip to the Bahamas, and I realized that was going to put me on the eastern side of the country.  So I squeezed in a visit to see family members and sites on the front end before leaving the country (it worked well with the manner in which the trip was being funded).  I was able to fit five days into my trip.

I had been in postal and e-mail communication with several cousins in New York City, and I thought it would be great to actually meet a lot of them in person.  So I told them all I was coming and worked out a social calendar.

I stayed at my sister's house in Titusville, New Jersey (at least I think that's where it was).

During the five days I was there, I drove in all five New York City boroughs (yes, including Manhattan) and the additional two counties on Long Island.  I put 700 miles on my sister's car driving back and forth on the Jersey Turnpike.  (The most exciting part of that was the day I saw a car fully engulfed in flames on the other side of the turnpike.  No one stopped or even slowed down to look.)  If I remember correctly, I met about two dozen cousins in New York and had a few lunches with them.  I took lots of photos, but I don't know where they are currently, other than "somewhere in the house."

I also visited several cemeteries.  I went to Mount Hebron in Flushing and Mount Zion in Maspeth, both in Queens.  At Mount Hebron, several relatives, including my Brainin great-great-grandparents, are buried in the Kreuzburger-Jacobstadter Benevolent Association section.

Mount Zion is the resting place of my Novitsky great-great-grandparents.  It's a very creepy cemetery, with black smoke belching in the background from factories and a pall hanging over everything.  The Novitskys are buried in the Stepiner section, which I haven't yet figured out the reason for, as they were from Porozovo.

I think I went to a third cemetery in New York, but I can't remember the name now.  But another cemetery I know I visited during this trip was Brotherhood Cemetery near Mount Holly, New Jersey.  I wrote about that adventure for a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun in December 2017.  It took me three visits to the cemtery to find the tombstone of my great-grandfather Elmer Sellers.

In that same post I also wrote about visiting the house where my paternal grandmother was born and took a photo of the sign on it, which states that the original deed was dated 1842.

And, of course, I was able to see my sister on this trip, and that's certainly a good thing to do on a family history vacation.

So I had a really busy five days doing nothing but family history!


  1. Sounds like a great vacation. I don't think driving in Manhattan is any different than in San Francisco, without the hills. And driving got you to exactly where you wanted to be.

    1. You can tell that we're both Californians, because *of course* the most practical way to get somewhere is to drive yourself! But some people back east thought I was crazy.

  2. That was quite a lot you packed into five days. I grew up in the NYC metro area and admire your courage driving in all five boroughs! You need to find all those photos you took and get them all scanned and labeled.

    1. The good news is that I know the photos are labeled already! I made sure I did that at the time because I was meeting so many relatives in such a short time, and I knew I would forget who was who. But yeah, I do need to find them here in the house and scan them. In fact, posting all of them together would make a nice blog post, don't you think? :)


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